ALLENTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) — More than two dozen people, most of them children, were taken to the hospital after a carbon monoxide leak in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The incident was reported Tuesday morning at Happy Smiles Learning Center in the 400 block of Wabash Street.
Emergency crews responded to a 911 call for an unconscious child.
The owner of the daycare center, Jesenia Gaudreaux, says she was on her way to the facility when, just around 7:30 a.m., she received a call from an employee that something was wrong with one of the children.
“All of a sudden he just collapsed. They tried to bring him back, but he just didn’t respond. So my staff called 911 right away,” Gaudreaux said.
Capt. John Christopher of the Allentown Fire Department said that when firefighters and EMTs arrived at the scene, monitors on their bags alerted them to the carbon monoxide leak.
The center was completely evacuated as a result.
The fire chief said it turned into a massive emergency when more people showed symptoms.
WFMZ-TV reports that every ambulance in Allentown was used.
Several children were placed on stretchers as more waited to be transported.
Authorities said a total of 29 people, children and adults, were taken to four Lehigh Valley hospitals.
Action News is told all the victims, including the child who passed out, are listed in stable condition.
The incident was reported as a Level 1 mass casualty incident, meaning local emergency responders and hospitals may be overwhelmed by the number of patients.
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Allentown’s fire chief said other fire departments and emergency personnel assisted with assistance.
Parents were notified, officials said, and authorities were working with daycare staff to keep everyone informed.
Another daycare around the corner opened its facility for children to stay warm.
UGI Utilities crews arrived on scene to investigate the leak.
Meanwhile, Jesenia Gaudreaux says she has every intention of reopening her business after the source of the carbon monoxide leak is found and repaired.
“I will do my best to do it as soon as possible,” Gaudreaux said.
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